What if we could skip forward 10 or 20 years?
If we could see into the future, we could know how God would use current rebellion in our kids as part of their path to faith and maturity.
If we could see into the future, we could know how God would use a current illness or injury to break us of the sin of self-dependance.
If we could see into the future, we could understand why God would allow the worries that keeps us awake at night for Hs glory and our good.
We could know all these things if we existed outside of our limits of time and space. This is why Thomas’ request makes so much sense to us today. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25, NIV). Thomas needed to see for himself how God had raised Jesus from the dead. Even thought Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection, Thomas couldn’t see into the future. He didn’t understand how it would all work out. It was too much to believe without seeing.
We, too, feel a need to see in order to believe. But God made us limited to bring us to dependence on Him. Our limits remind us that God is God and we are not.
There is a lot of peace in that. We don’t have to figure out how the pain we are enduring will work out for our good and His glory. It may be that we can’t even imagine how that would be possible. But God, who is limitless, can. And He will. That’s the promise of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).
The future will always be unknown to us. The challenge for me, and maybe for you, is to believe that God’s grace will exist in the future. He can redeem anything: the wayward child, the years lost to illness, and so much more. His ability to create good out of our hard situations is limitless.